New Course: Introducing Illustrator (with Free Samples!)

Today, released Deke's new course---Introducing Illustrator---expressly designed for those of you who want to learn Adobe Illustrator from an experienced instructor who starts at square one, getting to know the powerhouse vector-drawing application, and create well-crafted illustrations with no previous experience required.

Introducing Illustrator: No Experience Required

This course may prove particularly interesting for those of you who know Photoshop fairly well and now have access to Illustrator via CC, as well. I don't know about you, but I often feel like training either starts in medias res or is so slow and plodding that I can barely keep my eyezzzzz...

Anyway, this isn't that. If you need proof, there are some unlocked movies you can check out at without a membership. (They always unlock a percentage of movies for anyone to access; just look for blue links on the table of contents page for any course.) Here's what's on offer (for free) in Introducing IllustratorRead more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 271: Tracing Hand-Drawn Art with Uniform Strokes in Illustrator

I know you think you've heard the story before: artistically talented Photoshop guru shares love of drawing bizarre creatures with equally artistically inclined son. Yes, in this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, we once again revisit Deke and Sam at the kitchen table, drawing yet another alien come to take over our creative world, play some golf, and metaphorically eat our brains (or at least set up an administrative office there). This time, the McClellands make a pencil drawing which they seek to recreate in Illustrator. 

The trick here is to trace the drawing using the Trace feature in Illustrator in such a way that the lines, born as hand-drawn pencil scribblings in the real world, come out as strong uniform digital strokes. 

Pencil sketch becomes uniformly traced line drawing in Illustrator

In the movie, you'll learn three valuable lessons that apply to life as well as tracing in Illustrator:  Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Feedback Loop: Perspective Grid in Illustrator?

This week's Feedback Loop episode is brought to you by the dekeOmmunitarian known as "Sponge.Tool," who wonders why Deke chose to omit coverage of the Perspective Grid in his latest Illustrator CC One-on-One: Mastery update. Here's the conversation:

Good stuff, but....
Submitted by Sponge.Tool on 25 October 2013 - 12:49pm.

Why no more love for Perspective Drawing?, I noticed it didn't show up as a chapter in the CS6 Mastery course either.

Anyway, as always, glad to see this out, buttons pressed -'Queued' for viewing.

Yeah, I mulled over that one
Submitted by deke on 30 October 2013 - 7:20am.

What with the ongoing nature of the Creative Cloud, we're trying to create courses that I can update every so often on a moment's notice, whether in the event of impending necessity or just because we have nothing better to do.

The Perspective Drawing feature was one of those things that didn't seem to gain a lot of traction last time around. So I left it out this go around. But if anyone feels like, "Good Gawd, you fool, you've made a terrible blunder!" please tell me, and I'll either pretend I didn't hear you or get to work pronto.

Given the incessant nature of CC, I have a feeling you'll be telling me, "Good Gawd, you fool, you've made a terrible blunder" an awful lot in the upcoming months. Which is okay, b/c given my haughty nature, I need to be reminded of that. 

OK, some observations: 1) Deke, I would not want to mess with this community member should you ever decide to omit coverage of the Sponge tool, and 2) are we sure this is really Deke, because it's time-stamped at 7:20 a.m.

More to the point, 3) You can still see Deke's take on the Perspective Grid in Deke's Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery course. I tested it out, and as near as I can tell the only thing you'll have to extrapolate is that the Illustrator interface is now a tasteful dark grey by default. There are even a few free movies for those of you who aren't members of (You can click any blue link in the Table of Contents for any course at and see unlocked movies.) If you're too lazy to even do that, here's one:  

Of course, if that inspires you to study Illustrator (CC, CS6, CS5, CS4...) Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deeeeeke's Techniques 266: Creating Dripping Gooey Letters for Halloween (or Any Other Suitably Ghastly Occasion)

Create Gooey Dripping Letters in Photoshop

This week, Deke continues his Halloween tradition by bringing you yet another creepy October-appropriate (and free) Deke's Technique: ghastly, dripping, oozing letters, suitable for your Halloween headlines.  

We begin with this unsuspecting text in Photoshop, minding its own business (except for the foreshadowed message of its actual content) and eventually turn it into festering, glowing, slimy, possibly radioactive...(how many more words for ooze can I think of before I mention snot?)

Here's the starting point. Your standard un-scary word written in Photoshop with your ordinary Impact font:  Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Illustrator CC One-on-One Mastery: Now with Touch Type Tool Tutorials

This week released the latest update to Deke's signature Illustrator course, Illustrator CC One-on-One: Mastery---and with it you get a dekeSplanation of an amusingly handy new tool in Illustrator Creative Cloud: the Touch Type tool. 

If you're a member of and you're a "let's get right to the new stuff" kinda person, then check out the last few videos of Chapter 38, "Free Transform and Touch Type" in the latest course. If you're not a member of, why then scurry over to and get yourself a free week's trial. 

'Course, if you'd like to see how it works without scurrying anywhere, read on for a words-and-pictures example of how I made a classic deke-with-backward-droopy-e (hey, it's classic around here) in a matter of seconds using Illustrator's handy new feature:  Read more » 

. Tagged with: